Council bid to break even with jobs freeze

This Is Wiltshire: Council leader Rod Bluh Council leader Rod Bluh

SWINDON Council has imposed a freeze on recruitment and non-essential expenditure in a bid to break even at the end of 2012/13 and help balance the budget for the next financial year.

But the council leader has admitted frontline services may still be hit.

All non-schools’ vacant posts are frozen unless they have been signed off by the corporate board of top directors, although recruitment can continue without the special approval if a job advert has already been placed.

Alongside this, a further freeze on all “non-essential expenditure”, defined as that which is not vital to the safe delivery of services and member decisions, has been implemented to deter departments from spending their entire budgets and to create some capacity this year to help cash flow and future cost-saving work.

The council also says staff overtime should be minimised and no new engagements or extensions to existing arrangements with consultants, temporary and contract staff should be entered into without the approval of the board.

Coun Rod Bluh, the council leader, said: “We tend to do this about this time every year, partly because you are always in a potential overspend position at this time of the year.

“It’s just a signal to the various departments that we need to be very careful with budgets and we do need to bring the budgets in on track by the end of this year.

“We’re in an overspend situation at the moment but it’s but about £200,000 to £300,000. It’s lower than it has been for a while, mainly because the social care budget is under control at the moment.”

The council originally needed to find savings of about £15m to balance its budget for 2013/14 but this could increase due to a recent Government announcement.

Th grant for authorities which agree to freeze council tax will be cut from the equivalent of a 2.5 per cent tax increase this year to just one per cent next year – and authorities wanting to reject the offer and increase council tax by more than two per cent will have to hold a referendum.

Coun Bluh said the council was a long way forward but there was still a gap it was trying to close through redesigning services, although the challenge was securing the savings quick enough. Teams across the council will shortly be engaged with on proposed changes to some staffing structures.

Coun Bluh said: “When you are looking at identifying savings of £15m-plus, jobs have to be somewhere in the equation because a huge percentage of the council’s budget is salaries.

“Nobody wants to do this. Redundancies are never welcome, we don’t want people out of work, we want people in work, but this is the whole transfer of emphasis between the public and private sectors because of the national deficit.

“But it’s not just a matter of making people redundant, we still have to have a capacity to carry on doing what we do. But at the end of the day, if the money isn’t there we cannot pay people.

“We are trying to maintain services. They may be delivered in a different way but our job is to provide frontline services that are required. “But looking at the financial challenge ahead, I think it’s very difficult to say there’s going to be no effect on frontline services.”

Comments (34)

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12:03pm Mon 15 Oct 12

RichardR1 says...

Cut the number of Councillors by 2/3rds Rod and you've made the savings without impacting on public services.
Cut the number of Councillors by 2/3rds Rod and you've made the savings without impacting on public services. RichardR1
  • Score: 0

12:54pm Mon 15 Oct 12

dc the 2nd says...

show your working
show your working dc the 2nd
  • Score: 0

1:56pm Mon 15 Oct 12

Oliver_Donachie says...

Um, most Councillors in SBC do not get paid with the exception of those that are on special committees.

Councillors do receive an allowance circa £300 - £400 for contributions to child care , phones, fuel etc.

I am not sure how cutting them down by 2/3rd's would make much of a dent.

I think its a bit of a common misconception that Councillors are anything but largely voluntary.
Um, most Councillors in SBC do not get paid with the exception of those that are on special committees. Councillors do receive an allowance circa £300 - £400 for contributions to child care , phones, fuel etc. I am not sure how cutting them down by 2/3rd's would make much of a dent. I think its a bit of a common misconception that Councillors are anything but largely voluntary. Oliver_Donachie
  • Score: 0

3:59pm Mon 15 Oct 12

dglaholm says...

All Councillors get a basic allowance of around £10,500 per year.
Cabinet members get more as does the Leader of the opposition. Exact details are on thr Councils web site.
All Councillors get a basic allowance of around £10,500 per year. Cabinet members get more as does the Leader of the opposition. Exact details are on thr Councils web site. dglaholm
  • Score: 0

4:31pm Mon 15 Oct 12

twasadawf says...

what you going on about councillor's for they are on about worker's ,they should sack those responsible for the road nightmare by the law court's
what you going on about councillor's for they are on about worker's ,they should sack those responsible for the road nightmare by the law court's twasadawf
  • Score: 0

7:51pm Mon 15 Oct 12

itsamess3 says...

Councillors are elected to forward the opinions of we the people who elect them--they rarely do-so what is the point of having councillors that refuse to accept what the people want.
Could it be that they are more interested in getting a good income by ignoring what the folk want in their area and voted for councillors who claimed they would get things done for the community?
Why have elections when those voted in--totally ignore the promises made.
Councillors are elected to forward the opinions of we the people who elect them--they rarely do-so what is the point of having councillors that refuse to accept what the people want. Could it be that they are more interested in getting a good income by ignoring what the folk want in their area and voted for councillors who claimed they would get things done for the community? Why have elections when those voted in--totally ignore the promises made. itsamess3
  • Score: 0

8:28pm Mon 15 Oct 12

1 2 Could B says...

Oliver_Donachie says...
1:56pm Mon 15 Oct 12

"I think its a bit of a common misconception that Councillors are anything but largely voluntary."

dglaholm says...
3:59pm Mon 15 Oct 12

"All Councillors get a basic allowance of around £10,500 per year.
Cabinet members get more as does the Leader of the opposition"

Who's telling the truth?

It's a tad worrying that voluntary workers are spending vast sums of our taxes on business ventures
Oliver_Donachie says... 1:56pm Mon 15 Oct 12 "I think its a bit of a common misconception that Councillors are anything but largely voluntary." dglaholm says... 3:59pm Mon 15 Oct 12 "All Councillors get a basic allowance of around £10,500 per year. Cabinet members get more as does the Leader of the opposition" Who's telling the truth? It's a tad worrying that voluntary workers are spending vast sums of our taxes on business ventures 1 2 Could B
  • Score: 0

9:29pm Mon 15 Oct 12

Wigmeister says...

Want to save money? Consultancy fees, feasability studies, project management fees...shall I go on?
Want to save money? Consultancy fees, feasability studies, project management fees...shall I go on? Wigmeister
  • Score: 0

9:47pm Mon 15 Oct 12

1 2 Could B says...

Wigmeister wrote:
Want to save money? Consultancy fees, feasability studies, project management fees...shall I go on?
You may as well.

Wifi
Patios
s106 reductions
Pop up Parks
Water Features
[quote][p][bold]Wigmeister[/bold] wrote: Want to save money? Consultancy fees, feasability studies, project management fees...shall I go on?[/p][/quote]You may as well. Wifi Patios s106 reductions Pop up Parks Water Features 1 2 Could B
  • Score: 0

11:58pm Mon 15 Oct 12

Bobfm , says...

Radio 1 big weekend
Canal feasibility studies
Mechanics institute repairs
Radio 1 big weekend Canal feasibility studies Mechanics institute repairs Bobfm ,
  • Score: 0

12:14am Tue 16 Oct 12

Oliver_Donachie says...

Unsurprisingly I am telling the truth.

I will let the numbers doing the talking : http://ww5.swindon.g
ov.uk/moderngov/mgCo
nvert2PDF.aspx?ID=43
116

I can only comment on my own household circumstance and as I am with a Councillor that has never claimed and expense, ever, I can tell you the figure is approx £400pm which is about a 25% shortfall under costs, not that she does it for the money.

As I said in my original point, reducing Councillors by 2/3rds makes little difference, if you really want to save £15M then you may want to start with the Adult Social Care bill.

http://www.swindon.g
ov.uk/cd/cd-budgets/
Documents/budget-mem
bershandbook2011-12.
pdf

The current administration is falling over itself to try and ensure that council tax is frozen for the 3rd year in a row, despite rising costs and falling precepts. This stands in stark contrast to the last time labour was in majority in Swindon when they raised council tax over 40% whilst presiding over one of the worse rated councils in the United Kingdom.

At the time the situation was described as:

"The nationwide Comprehensive Performance Assessment places Swindon in the basement division as one of thirteen “poor” performing councils. The CPA appraises how well the council is run and how well frontline services perform. In both categories Swindon scored a meagre 1 out of 4."

Since then under Conservative guidance the town now achieves 3 / 4 across the board whilst charging nothing more in taxation.

But please, do carry on about the patios, it really is the picture...
Unsurprisingly I am telling the truth. I will let the numbers doing the talking : http://ww5.swindon.g ov.uk/moderngov/mgCo nvert2PDF.aspx?ID=43 116 I can only comment on my own household circumstance and as I am with a Councillor that has never claimed and expense, ever, I can tell you the figure is approx £400pm which is about a 25% shortfall under costs, not that she does it for the money. As I said in my original point, reducing Councillors by 2/3rds makes little difference, if you really want to save £15M then you may want to start with the Adult Social Care bill. http://www.swindon.g ov.uk/cd/cd-budgets/ Documents/budget-mem bershandbook2011-12. pdf The current administration is falling over itself to try and ensure that council tax is frozen for the 3rd year in a row, despite rising costs and falling precepts. This stands in stark contrast to the last time labour was in majority in Swindon when they raised council tax over 40% whilst presiding over one of the worse rated councils in the United Kingdom. At the time the situation was described as: "The nationwide Comprehensive Performance Assessment places Swindon in the basement division as one of thirteen “poor” performing councils. The CPA appraises how well the council is run and how well frontline services perform. In both categories Swindon scored a meagre 1 out of 4." Since then under Conservative guidance the town now achieves 3 / 4 across the board whilst charging nothing more in taxation. But please, do carry on about the patios, it really is the picture... Oliver_Donachie
  • Score: 0

12:43am Tue 16 Oct 12

1 2 Could B says...

dglaholm wrote:
All Councillors get a basic allowance of around £10,500 per year.
Cabinet members get more as does the Leader of the opposition. Exact details are on thr Councils web site.
According to the above poster, they don't
[quote][p][bold]dglaholm[/bold] wrote: All Councillors get a basic allowance of around £10,500 per year. Cabinet members get more as does the Leader of the opposition. Exact details are on thr Councils web site.[/p][/quote]According to the above poster, they don't 1 2 Could B
  • Score: 0

12:59am Tue 16 Oct 12

Oliver_Donachie says...

Oh deary deary 1 2 Could B, time to come out from under the bridge again?

They don't.

dglaholm is absolutely correct in reporting that the SBC website says they do, but if you glance at this link, you will see the reality of the situation.

Again 1 2 Could B, you could confirm this by reading the following, unlike some I actually substantiate my points.

http://ww5.swindon.g

ov.uk/moderngov/mgCo

nvert2PDF.aspx?ID=43

116

As I also said, I am speaking from the position of having partner who has never claimed an expense, however I am sure cabinet members and others do receive a higher level of remuneration.
Oh deary deary 1 2 Could B, time to come out from under the bridge again? They don't. dglaholm is absolutely correct in reporting that the SBC website says they do, but if you glance at this link, you will see the reality of the situation. Again 1 2 Could B, you could confirm this by reading the following, unlike some I actually substantiate my points. http://ww5.swindon.g ov.uk/moderngov/mgCo nvert2PDF.aspx?ID=43 116 As I also said, I am speaking from the position of having partner who has never claimed an expense, however I am sure cabinet members and others do receive a higher level of remuneration. Oliver_Donachie
  • Score: 0

1:14am Tue 16 Oct 12

Oliver_Donachie says...

Sorry about the vagueness of my previous post, the exact figure is:

The last time labour held power in Swindon they raised council tax by 42% in 3 years.
Sorry about the vagueness of my previous post, the exact figure is: The last time labour held power in Swindon they raised council tax by 42% in 3 years. Oliver_Donachie
  • Score: 0

6:59am Tue 16 Oct 12

TinkeyWinkey says...

And when the new benefit changes come into force in April and peeps find their benefits reduced, because they've got more bedrooms than they should have, what's going to happen then, when tenants can't make up the shortfall?? Will Council Tax then rise despite them saying they are trying to freeze it?


Can't really evict everyone if they're under occupying can they, as tenants will start moaning it's against their human rights. And where do people that get evicted end up? Right back at the council who then house them privately.


Wonder how they will try and balance the books there
And when the new benefit changes come into force in April and peeps find their benefits reduced, because they've got more bedrooms than they should have, what's going to happen then, when tenants can't make up the shortfall?? Will Council Tax then rise despite them saying they are trying to freeze it? Can't really evict everyone if they're under occupying can they, as tenants will start moaning it's against their human rights. And where do people that get evicted end up? Right back at the council who then house them privately. Wonder how they will try and balance the books there TinkeyWinkey
  • Score: 0

9:00am Tue 16 Oct 12

The Real Librarian says...

Oliver

As so often, David Glaholm is talking nonsense, however your own figures show that councilors were paid £637,020 gross, an average of £9,800 per.

Also the figures for tax and NI are there, demonstrating that these are not allowances, they are salaries.

Not only does that show RichardR1 was right when he said that they could save the money by axing 2/3rds of councillors
Oliver As so often, David Glaholm is talking nonsense, however your own figures show that councilors were paid £637,020 gross, an average of £9,800 per. Also the figures for tax and NI are there, demonstrating that these are not allowances, they are salaries. Not only does that show RichardR1 was right when he said that they could save the money by axing 2/3rds of councillors The Real Librarian
  • Score: 0

9:04am Tue 16 Oct 12

StillPav says...

Wigmeister wrote:
Want to save money? Consultancy fees, feasability studies, project management fees...shall I go on?
If you think consultants are expensive, maybe you should consider the cost of leaving public servants to do important jobs by themselves (see recent West Coast franchise and expected £40m cost to the taxpayer to reimburse bidders, all because someone doesn't know how to calculate new present value).
[quote][p][bold]Wigmeister[/bold] wrote: Want to save money? Consultancy fees, feasability studies, project management fees...shall I go on?[/p][/quote]If you think consultants are expensive, maybe you should consider the cost of leaving public servants to do important jobs by themselves (see recent West Coast franchise and expected £40m cost to the taxpayer to reimburse bidders, all because someone doesn't know how to calculate new present value). StillPav
  • Score: 0

10:14am Tue 16 Oct 12

Oliver_Donachie says...

The Real Librarian,

You touch on something very interesting, I wont go into the guts of it because its too technical but SBC say explicitly that Councillors are not employees but are "members" , inheriting no protection of employment, and that "salary" is allowance.

I absolutely agree with you on the NI and tax point.

On the wider note of reducing Councillors, I am not saying its bad as a position of protectionism, but because I think they represent a high level of value, again I can only speak about my personal experience but here it is:

A Councillor will typically attend 4 mandatory meetings and 8 locality / other meetings a month at 3 hours each. If we said they are "paid" minimum wage that would be : £222.84

They typically consume about £120 of fuel in transit from various locations.

I am told they typically do 2 hours of work a day, although in my experience its often triple that (including weekends), again at minimum wage levels that would cost the tax payers £371.4

A typical monthly phone bill is £80

Child Care is typically around £180, most Councillors do not have this cost, most Councillors claim it back, in my household it is not claimed back.

Grant Total : £974.24

You will notice that if you add up just expenses like fuel, childcare, phone, materials etc, it is possible to to about cut even, hence my original assertion:

"Councillors work on a largely voluntary basis."

I am not highlighting this because I think they should be paid more, I know many Conservative Councillors that would do the job for free if it saved people from another round of labour tax hikes, I am just highlighting that even if you pretend they are paid minimum wage (they are not paid) that we extract a lot of value from money out of them.

If you want to save money, tackle the Adult Social Care bill.
The Real Librarian, You touch on something very interesting, I wont go into the guts of it because its too technical but SBC say explicitly that Councillors are not employees but are "members" , inheriting no protection of employment, and that "salary" is allowance. I absolutely agree with you on the NI and tax point. On the wider note of reducing Councillors, I am not saying its bad as a position of protectionism, but because I think they represent a high level of value, again I can only speak about my personal experience but here it is: A Councillor will typically attend 4 mandatory meetings and 8 locality / other meetings a month at 3 hours each. If we said they are "paid" minimum wage that would be : £222.84 They typically consume about £120 of fuel in transit from various locations. I am told they typically do 2 hours of work a day, although in my experience its often triple that (including weekends), again at minimum wage levels that would cost the tax payers £371.4 A typical monthly phone bill is £80 Child Care is typically around £180, most Councillors do not have this cost, most Councillors claim it back, in my household it is not claimed back. Grant Total : £974.24 You will notice that if you add up just expenses like fuel, childcare, phone, materials etc, it is possible to to about cut even, hence my original assertion: "Councillors work on a largely voluntary basis." I am not highlighting this because I think they should be paid more, I know many Conservative Councillors that would do the job for free if it saved people from another round of labour tax hikes, I am just highlighting that even if you pretend they are paid minimum wage (they are not paid) that we extract a lot of value from money out of them. If you want to save money, tackle the Adult Social Care bill. Oliver_Donachie
  • Score: 0

10:21am Tue 16 Oct 12

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

Oliver_Donachie wrote:
Sorry about the vagueness of my previous post, the exact figure is:

The last time labour held power in Swindon they raised council tax by 42% in 3 years.
I love how conservatives keep trying to get political value out of this. I'm not denying that council tax bills rose rapidly (by a disgraceful amount) under Labour, but if it had been unnecessary to do so, surely the tory administration could/should have reversed those increases as soon as they got into power... wouldn't they?

Seriously, if you don't think the council could afford to reduce the council tax bill by 42%, give it up, it's no longer relevant!. If you do think they could reduce the council tax bill by this much of course, you'd have to ask yourself why they haven't done so....
[quote][p][bold]Oliver_Donachie[/bold] wrote: Sorry about the vagueness of my previous post, the exact figure is: The last time labour held power in Swindon they raised council tax by 42% in 3 years.[/p][/quote]I love how conservatives keep trying to get political value out of this. I'm not denying that council tax bills rose rapidly (by a disgraceful amount) under Labour, but if it had been unnecessary to do so, surely the tory administration could/should have reversed those increases as soon as they got into power... wouldn't they? Seriously, if you don't think the council could afford to reduce the council tax bill by 42%, give it up, it's no longer relevant!. If you do think they could reduce the council tax bill by this much of course, you'd have to ask yourself why they haven't done so.... The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 0

11:32am Tue 16 Oct 12

Oliver_Donachie says...

I think that reminding ourselves exactly how parties behave when in power is entirely relevant.

I don't know about how much you earn but for many the consequence of labour voting through another round of council tax hikes would be a disaster. If you are relaxed about such a proposition then good for you.

For everyone else its a show of the current administrations budgetary skills that they have managed to keep it capped, long may it continue.
I think that reminding ourselves exactly how parties behave when in power is entirely relevant. I don't know about how much you earn but for many the consequence of labour voting through another round of council tax hikes would be a disaster. If you are relaxed about such a proposition then good for you. For everyone else its a show of the current administrations budgetary skills that they have managed to keep it capped, long may it continue. Oliver_Donachie
  • Score: 0

12:30pm Tue 16 Oct 12

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

Oliver_Donachie wrote:
I think that reminding ourselves exactly how parties behave when in power is entirely relevant.

I don't know about how much you earn but for many the consequence of labour voting through another round of council tax hikes would be a disaster. If you are relaxed about such a proposition then good for you.

For everyone else its a show of the current administrations budgetary skills that they have managed to keep it capped, long may it continue.
Where is your evidence for that statement? - I've seen nothing from Labour or indeed any other local party that would suggest they are planning massive tax increases if they get back into power... It would be political suicide to do so.

So do you think the 42% rise was unnecessary? If so, why have your beloved council never reversed the hikes and why are they not swimming in money?

By the way, I am certainly no supporter of Labour either, I just believe it is incredibly unhelpful to continue mudslinging at other political groups, for something that happened several years ago with a completely different group of people involved and in completely different financial times. Perhaps if our political leaders at both the local and national level tried to work together a bit more rather than this continuing tired rhetoric, we might not be in the mess we are now, and people might actually begin to believe in politics again.
[quote][p][bold]Oliver_Donachie[/bold] wrote: I think that reminding ourselves exactly how parties behave when in power is entirely relevant. I don't know about how much you earn but for many the consequence of labour voting through another round of council tax hikes would be a disaster. If you are relaxed about such a proposition then good for you. For everyone else its a show of the current administrations budgetary skills that they have managed to keep it capped, long may it continue.[/p][/quote]Where is your evidence for that statement? - I've seen nothing from Labour or indeed any other local party that would suggest they are planning massive tax increases if they get back into power... It would be political suicide to do so. So do you think the 42% rise was unnecessary? If so, why have your beloved council never reversed the hikes and why are they not swimming in money? By the way, I am certainly no supporter of Labour either, I just believe it is incredibly unhelpful to continue mudslinging at other political groups, for something that happened several years ago with a completely different group of people involved and in completely different financial times. Perhaps if our political leaders at both the local and national level tried to work together a bit more rather than this continuing tired rhetoric, we might not be in the mess we are now, and people might actually begin to believe in politics again. The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 0

1:29pm Tue 16 Oct 12

Oliver_Donachie says...

The evidence is in two areas:

1: When previously in power this is the decision that was taken, we judge political parties based on actions, what other metric exists?

2: Socialists tends towards wealth "redistribution" where as Conservatism believes that if you work hard you should have the maximum rewards whenever possible.

This is not political ideology, its measurable, compare taxation rises under labour vs Conservatives.

All the above however is political thought that the average man in the street does not really care about, what they do worry about is this:

Are taxes going up?

As you say, some time has passed since labour last wrecked Swindon and its a 50/50 chance, maybe they will raise council tax, maybe they wont.

With Conservatism its a lot more straight forward, they will dedicate all effort to ensuring they control council tax as much as possible, that's what it means to vote Conservative, it means you don't want to have taxes you paid to be "redistributed" to those that don't, hence why as a tax payer I vote that way.
The evidence is in two areas: 1: When previously in power this is the decision that was taken, we judge political parties based on actions, what other metric exists? 2: Socialists tends towards wealth "redistribution" where as Conservatism believes that if you work hard you should have the maximum rewards whenever possible. This is not political ideology, its measurable, compare taxation rises under labour vs Conservatives. All the above however is political thought that the average man in the street does not really care about, what they do worry about is this: Are taxes going up? As you say, some time has passed since labour last wrecked Swindon and its a 50/50 chance, maybe they will raise council tax, maybe they wont. With Conservatism its a lot more straight forward, they will dedicate all effort to ensuring they control council tax as much as possible, that's what it means to vote Conservative, it means you don't want to have taxes you paid to be "redistributed" to those that don't, hence why as a tax payer I vote that way. Oliver_Donachie
  • Score: 0

2:23pm Tue 16 Oct 12

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

1) That's not evidence - decisions and actions that were taken in a completely different social and financial climate are irrelevant to the current situation.

2) True, but again that's not evidence that Labour would, if re-elected, massively raise council tax again.

Using your reasoning of taking political ideology out of the equation - discounting food expenditure taxes which is simply too time consuming to calculate (some food attracts VAT, some doesn't) - the amount of tax I paid increased last year under the current government by around 13%. So by simply using the evidence of my personal finances I would have to say that the Conservatives are the party of high taxes, not Labour!

All that said, I once again invite you to answer the simple question:
So do you think the 42% rise was unnecessary? If so, why have your beloved council never reversed the hikes and why are they not swimming in money?
1) That's not evidence - decisions and actions that were taken in a completely different social and financial climate are irrelevant to the current situation. 2) True, but again that's not evidence that Labour would, if re-elected, massively raise council tax again. Using your reasoning of taking political ideology out of the equation - discounting food expenditure taxes which is simply too time consuming to calculate (some food attracts VAT, some doesn't) - the amount of tax I paid increased last year under the current government by around 13%. So by simply using the evidence of my personal finances I would have to say that the Conservatives are the party of high taxes, not Labour! All that said, I once again invite you to answer the simple question: So do you think the 42% rise was unnecessary? If so, why have your beloved council never reversed the hikes and why are they not swimming in money? The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 0

2:46pm Tue 16 Oct 12

Oliver_Donachie says...

Hmm,

1: I would invite you to look-up the word "trend" or "trending" , previous actions are entirely relevant metrics.

2: You talk of evidence, can you prove to me they wont? The only information we have is that

A: They did last time and
B: They are the party of taxation, you do agree that wealth redistribution is at the epicenter of socialism?

The question is to simplistic, so let me paint the picture at the time.

Two facts:

A: They raised taxes by 42%
B: They presided over one of the lowest rated councils in the UK.

Conversely, with the tax position they inherited the current administration.

A: Did not raise taxes.
B: Raised the operational level of the town from 1 (worse) up to 3/4 (nearly top)

Can you explain, as a seemingly logical person, who the best party is to vote for?

And to answer the question, I believe they took the strategic decision to use the money to achieve that raising in standards across the town.
Hmm, 1: I would invite you to look-up the word "trend" or "trending" , previous actions are entirely relevant metrics. 2: You talk of evidence, can you prove to me they wont? The only information we have is that A: They did last time and B: They are the party of taxation, you do agree that wealth redistribution is at the epicenter of socialism? The question is to simplistic, so let me paint the picture at the time. Two facts: A: They raised taxes by 42% B: They presided over one of the lowest rated councils in the UK. Conversely, with the tax position they inherited the current administration. A: Did not raise taxes. B: Raised the operational level of the town from 1 (worse) up to 3/4 (nearly top) Can you explain, as a seemingly logical person, who the best party is to vote for? And to answer the question, I believe they took the strategic decision to use the money to achieve that raising in standards across the town. Oliver_Donachie
  • Score: 0

3:08pm Tue 16 Oct 12

1 2 Could B says...

I think you've overlooked the point tht "they" are not the same individuals as "the last time"

Incidentally, is there a reason that you are not using your real name on the wifi thread?

Each to their own, but I'm curious as to the fluctuating from being identified to being anonymous.
I think you've overlooked the point tht "they" are not the same individuals as "the last time" Incidentally, is there a reason that you are not using your real name on the wifi thread? Each to their own, but I'm curious as to the fluctuating from being identified to being anonymous. 1 2 Could B
  • Score: 0

3:15pm Tue 16 Oct 12

Oliver_Donachie says...

1 2 Could B, I will give you a response once, and once only. I post under no other name on this forum.

I am not an anonymous coward like you, everything I have to say, I would be delighted to say to you directly.

With regards to "they" being different people, I believe the labour party's position on wealth redistribution is well understood and a platform on which they campaign whoever the representatives may be at the time.

Based on the above, I doubt few would take the risk, I like them cannot afford council tax to rise over 40% again.
1 2 Could B, I will give you a response once, and once only. I post under no other name on this forum. I am not an anonymous coward like you, everything I have to say, I would be delighted to say to you directly. With regards to "they" being different people, I believe the labour party's position on wealth redistribution is well understood and a platform on which they campaign whoever the representatives may be at the time. Based on the above, I doubt few would take the risk, I like them cannot afford council tax to rise over 40% again. Oliver_Donachie
  • Score: 0

3:27pm Tue 16 Oct 12

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

Oliver_Donachie wrote:
Hmm,

1: I would invite you to look-up the word "trend" or "trending" , previous actions are entirely relevant metrics.

2: You talk of evidence, can you prove to me they wont? The only information we have is that

A: They did last time and
B: They are the party of taxation, you do agree that wealth redistribution is at the epicenter of socialism?

The question is to simplistic, so let me paint the picture at the time.

Two facts:

A: They raised taxes by 42%
B: They presided over one of the lowest rated councils in the UK.

Conversely, with the tax position they inherited the current administration.

A: Did not raise taxes.
B: Raised the operational level of the town from 1 (worse) up to 3/4 (nearly top)

Can you explain, as a seemingly logical person, who the best party is to vote for?

And to answer the question, I believe they took the strategic decision to use the money to achieve that raising in standards across the town.
So previous actions are relevant metrics in this case but are not in the case of financial performance from banks etc? - they are not reliable metrics hence why financial services have to put the disclaimer "Past performance is no indication of future results"... It can give an indication but is in no way evidence. As someone else has said, you also do not note that the 'They' has changed and the current financial situation is completely different.

The question is not too simplistic. The way I see it, the previous Labour administration massively increased council tax in order to improve the quality of council services by throwing (our) money at the problem. They did not get a chance to do this as they were then voted out.

The Conservatives then came in, blamed the previous administration for this, that and the other, including raising taxes by 42%, but did nothing to reverse the changes that the previous administration made. They then took credit for the changes that had already in effect been paid for by the massive tax increase implemented by the previous administration.

My personal opinion is that (as you seemingly agree), the massive increase in tax was used to raise the standards of services for the town. Without this money, the Conservative administration would have been no more able to increase standards than the previous Labour administration.

To answer your question about who is the best party to vote for - In my opinion to do that you would have to take party politics out of the equation and choose the person/people you deem most likely to do the best job for the people they claim to represent. That has nothing to do with party politics. I for one will be using my vote at the next elections to hopefully contribute towards no political party getting a majority at a local level, it's been proven on both red and blue sides to be disastrous - what we need is a combination of red, blue and independent representatives *working together*, not against each other to secure the best future for our town.
[quote][p][bold]Oliver_Donachie[/bold] wrote: Hmm, 1: I would invite you to look-up the word "trend" or "trending" , previous actions are entirely relevant metrics. 2: You talk of evidence, can you prove to me they wont? The only information we have is that A: They did last time and B: They are the party of taxation, you do agree that wealth redistribution is at the epicenter of socialism? The question is to simplistic, so let me paint the picture at the time. Two facts: A: They raised taxes by 42% B: They presided over one of the lowest rated councils in the UK. Conversely, with the tax position they inherited the current administration. A: Did not raise taxes. B: Raised the operational level of the town from 1 (worse) up to 3/4 (nearly top) Can you explain, as a seemingly logical person, who the best party is to vote for? And to answer the question, I believe they took the strategic decision to use the money to achieve that raising in standards across the town.[/p][/quote]So previous actions are relevant metrics in this case but are not in the case of financial performance from banks etc? - they are not reliable metrics hence why financial services have to put the disclaimer "Past performance is no indication of future results"... It can give an indication but is in no way evidence. As someone else has said, you also do not note that the 'They' has changed and the current financial situation is completely different. The question is not too simplistic. The way I see it, the previous Labour administration massively increased council tax in order to improve the quality of council services by throwing (our) money at the problem. They did not get a chance to do this as they were then voted out. The Conservatives then came in, blamed the previous administration for this, that and the other, including raising taxes by 42%, but did nothing to reverse the changes that the previous administration made. They then took credit for the changes that had already in effect been paid for by the massive tax increase implemented by the previous administration. My personal opinion is that (as you seemingly agree), the massive increase in tax was used to raise the standards of services for the town. Without this money, the Conservative administration would have been no more able to increase standards than the previous Labour administration. To answer your question about who is the best party to vote for - In my opinion to do that you would have to take party politics out of the equation and choose the person/people you deem most likely to do the best job for the people they claim to represent. That has nothing to do with party politics. I for one will be using my vote at the next elections to hopefully contribute towards no political party getting a majority at a local level, it's been proven on both red and blue sides to be disastrous - what we need is a combination of red, blue and independent representatives *working together*, not against each other to secure the best future for our town. The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 0

4:28pm Tue 16 Oct 12

1 2 Could B says...

Oliver_Donachie wrote:
1 2 Could B, I will give you a response once, and once only. I post under no other name on this forum.

I am not an anonymous coward like you, everything I have to say, I would be delighted to say to you directly.

With regards to "they" being different people, I believe the labour party's position on wealth redistribution is well understood and a platform on which they campaign whoever the representatives may be at the time.

Based on the above, I doubt few would take the risk, I like them cannot afford council tax to rise over 40% again.
Oliver,
As you claim to know who I am, I am hardly an "anonymous coward" and you are welcome to "talk directly" to me.

As you have commented previously on some of my activities and whereabouts, I suspect that may soon happen.

I choose to remain anonymous on this forum, as most people do for personal reasons only.
I do not consider it "brave" to do otherwise, or cowardly to remain anonymous.

I merely asked a polite question.

I do not consider your remark to be polite or brave
[quote][p][bold]Oliver_Donachie[/bold] wrote: 1 2 Could B, I will give you a response once, and once only. I post under no other name on this forum. I am not an anonymous coward like you, everything I have to say, I would be delighted to say to you directly. With regards to "they" being different people, I believe the labour party's position on wealth redistribution is well understood and a platform on which they campaign whoever the representatives may be at the time. Based on the above, I doubt few would take the risk, I like them cannot afford council tax to rise over 40% again.[/p][/quote]Oliver, As you claim to know who I am, I am hardly an "anonymous coward" and you are welcome to "talk directly" to me. As you have commented previously on some of my activities and whereabouts, I suspect that may soon happen. I choose to remain anonymous on this forum, as most people do for personal reasons only. I do not consider it "brave" to do otherwise, or cowardly to remain anonymous. I merely asked a polite question. I do not consider your remark to be polite or brave 1 2 Could B
  • Score: 0

4:33pm Tue 16 Oct 12

1 2 Could B says...

Back on topic.
This thread is surely the discussion of the "current" administrations budget etiquette.

Surely they would gain more respect if they didn't keep attempting "Dragon's Den" style investments.

I wouldn't regard that as the role of a local authority.

PS
Oliver could you tell me why you specifically chose an alternative login which is so similar to my own?
Back on topic. This thread is surely the discussion of the "current" administrations budget etiquette. Surely they would gain more respect if they didn't keep attempting "Dragon's Den" style investments. I wouldn't regard that as the role of a local authority. PS Oliver could you tell me why you specifically chose an alternative login which is so similar to my own? 1 2 Could B
  • Score: 0

4:37pm Tue 16 Oct 12

Oliver_Donachie says...

I would agree that the Conservatives inherited a better position if the change was immediate upon election, the reality is it took them years to work out of a position of terminal decline under the labour governance into one of sustained improvement, did the labour increase in council tax assist that? It would be petty to argue it did not, but was it the catalyst? Absolutely not, the change was made by application of Conservatie principles and using the right people for the job, we can substantiate that point by turning to the independent reviews undertaken year on year.

I do not therefore agree with the premise that the increase in performance was because of the tax rises, I truly believe that the labour council will have just continued to squander the resource whatever the level of taxation, was this not played out at a national level? Is it not a byproduct of socialism?

With regards to the comment about bipartisan political process, I agree with you, I would like to see politicians of all colours working for the good of Swindonians, sadly it is my experience that labour exist purely to drive political ideology into every decision, this is in contrast to (for instance) the Lib-Dems who appear to vote with Conservatives when its the right thing to do, not always, but certainly when the case can be made, labour on the other hand will oppose "just because", this was touched on in a recent news article that identified the hours of debating time lost to tired political name calling my labour Councillors during debate.

But this is drifting way off the original point, which is in my case that if we want to reduce costs we need to be bold and look at the looming Adult Social Care challenge and how we can tackle it as a town, that is the real story here...
I would agree that the Conservatives inherited a better position if the change was immediate upon election, the reality is it took them years to work out of a position of terminal decline under the labour governance into one of sustained improvement, did the labour increase in council tax assist that? It would be petty to argue it did not, but was it the catalyst? Absolutely not, the change was made by application of Conservatie principles and using the right people for the job, we can substantiate that point by turning to the independent reviews undertaken year on year. I do not therefore agree with the premise that the increase in performance was because of the tax rises, I truly believe that the labour council will have just continued to squander the resource whatever the level of taxation, was this not played out at a national level? Is it not a byproduct of socialism? With regards to the comment about bipartisan political process, I agree with you, I would like to see politicians of all colours working for the good of Swindonians, sadly it is my experience that labour exist purely to drive political ideology into every decision, this is in contrast to (for instance) the Lib-Dems who appear to vote with Conservatives when its the right thing to do, not always, but certainly when the case can be made, labour on the other hand will oppose "just because", this was touched on in a recent news article that identified the hours of debating time lost to tired political name calling my labour Councillors during debate. But this is drifting way off the original point, which is in my case that if we want to reduce costs we need to be bold and look at the looming Adult Social Care challenge and how we can tackle it as a town, that is the real story here... Oliver_Donachie
  • Score: 0

5:02pm Tue 16 Oct 12

1 2 Could B says...

Councillor Bluh said
"“We’re in an overspend situation at the moment but it’s but about £200,000 to £300,000. It’s lower than it has been for a while, mainly because the social care budget is under control at the moment.”

So if £450,000 hadn't been wasted on wifi we'd be well and truly in the black

Nothing to do with cutting adult social care. Nothing to do with any other political party
Councillor Bluh said "“We’re in an overspend situation at the moment but it’s but about £200,000 to £300,000. It’s lower than it has been for a while, mainly because the social care budget is under control at the moment.” So if £450,000 hadn't been wasted on wifi we'd be well and truly in the black Nothing to do with cutting adult social care. Nothing to do with any other political party 1 2 Could B
  • Score: 0

7:00pm Tue 16 Oct 12

RichardR1 says...

No administration will ever tackle the growing debts because they are not in control of events.

Ultimately there will be a defined level of welfare below which no one can go, and with an ever increasing population both locally and nationally and with an ever increasing % who don't, won't or can't work, we will sink deeper and deeper into the mire.

Future generations of workers will be the hardest hit because they will be subsidising more and more people but earning less and less.

Ultimately everyone will be forced to be under state control for our every need, which will in the end be very basic.

The essential catalyst for the long awaited New World Order that people were afraid to speak of 40 years ago.
No administration will ever tackle the growing debts because they are not in control of events. Ultimately there will be a defined level of welfare below which no one can go, and with an ever increasing population both locally and nationally and with an ever increasing % who don't, won't or can't work, we will sink deeper and deeper into the mire. Future generations of workers will be the hardest hit because they will be subsidising more and more people but earning less and less. Ultimately everyone will be forced to be under state control for our every need, which will in the end be very basic. The essential catalyst for the long awaited New World Order that people were afraid to speak of 40 years ago. RichardR1
  • Score: 0

7:56pm Tue 16 Oct 12

itsamess3 says...

The fact being that attacking the elderly and their contribution to the local economy is a very negative approach in cutting elderly services. Above all they have paid their council taxes and national taxes and believe they are entitled to any help the govt or councils can give as they have religiously contributed to the country and local govt and have earned the right to be treated fairly by both govt and local councils and find that help is no longer available because both govt and councils are in such a mess because they are incapable of caring for the folk who have put most into this country and town--and through mismanagement by both need help.
SHOCKING
The fact being that attacking the elderly and their contribution to the local economy is a very negative approach in cutting elderly services. Above all they have paid their council taxes and national taxes and believe they are entitled to any help the govt or councils can give as they have religiously contributed to the country and local govt and have earned the right to be treated fairly by both govt and local councils and find that help is no longer available because both govt and councils are in such a mess because they are incapable of caring for the folk who have put most into this country and town--and through mismanagement by both need help. SHOCKING itsamess3
  • Score: 0

10:28am Wed 17 Oct 12

RichardR1 says...

Shocking in deed, but as I said, it will get much, much worse.

Quality of life does not feature on the agenda of politicians, local or national, accept their own of course.
Shocking in deed, but as I said, it will get much, much worse. Quality of life does not feature on the agenda of politicians, local or national, accept their own of course. RichardR1
  • Score: 0

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